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IRS starts accepting federal income tax returns - USA TODAY

Google IRS Federal Income Tax - Tue, 2014-02-18 22:26

IRS starts accepting federal income tax returns
USA TODAY
... report any content that violates the terms. IRS starts accepting federal income tax returns. You can begin filing your 2013 tax returns starting this Friday, January 31. Certified financial planner Paul Fain talks about the pros and cons of filing ...

Categories: Tax news

IRS advice: Earned Income Tax Credit gives workers a boost - Huntington Herald Dispatch

Google IRS Federal Income Tax - Tue, 2014-02-18 22:02

IRS advice: Earned Income Tax Credit gives workers a boost
Huntington Herald Dispatch
Workers who qualify for EITC must file a federal income tax return and specifically claim the credit to get it, even if they do not have a requirement to file a return. KNOW THE RULES. Before claiming EITC, you need to understand the rules to be sure ...

and more »
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British Columbia unveils LNG tax, sees budget surpluses

Yahoo Tax - Tue, 2014-02-18 17:01
By Julie Gordon and Jennifer Kwan VICTORIA, British Columbia (Reuters) - British Columbia on Tuesday provided long-awaited details on a new income tax for its nascent liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, as Canada's westernmost province released its second consecutive balanced budget. The coastal province is eyeing a two-tier tax that would apply to income from the liquefaction of natural gas, the process of cooling gas into a liquid to be transported by ship, at facilities in British Columbia.
Categories: Tax news

U.S. tax season returns, and with it refund fraud

Yahoo Tax - Tue, 2014-02-18 15:07
By Patrick Temple-West WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Kev Imandoust guards his U.S. Social Security number with 25-character passwords and email encryption software. But in 2012, the San Diego accountant became one of more than a million Americans whose identities were stolen to use for tax refund fraud. When he tried to file his taxes days before the April 15 deadline two years ago, Imandoust had his return rejected by the Internal Revenue Service. Someone in Florida had filed using his name and Social Security number, the IRS said.
Categories: Tax news

General Electric Co seeks $658 million U.S. tax refund: court filing

Yahoo Tax - Tue, 2014-02-18 14:36

General Electric Co is suing the Internal Revenue Service for a $658 million tax refund related to a tax loss the company claimed as it exited the reinsurance market more than a decade ago. In a civil complaint filed on Friday in U.S. District Court for Connecticut, GE said the IRS wrongly disallowed a $2.2 billion loss it claimed from the 2003 sale of a reinsurance subsidiary. The complaint said GE, a large conglomerate that sells jet engines and financial products, is owed a $439.3 million federal income tax refund plus $219 million in interest. The IRS had disagreed with GE's claims for losses and reversed a tentative tax refund to the company in 2004, the court filing said.


Categories: Tax news

2014 Tax Season Filing Requirements for Seniors - Huffington Post

Google IRS Federal Income Tax - Tue, 2014-02-18 10:41

MSN Money

2014 Tax Season Filing Requirements for Seniors
Huffington Post
To get a detailed breakdown on federal filing requirements, along with information on taxable and nontaxable income, call the IRS at 800-829-3676 and ask them to mail you a free copy of the "Tax Guide for Seniors" (publication 554). In the meantime ...
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Share of U.S. Corporate Income and Taxes by Size

Tax Foundation - Tue, 2014-02-18 09:00

In 2010, U.S. corporations paid about $223 billion in income taxes on slightly more than $1 trillion in taxable income. However, the vast majority of this income and taxes is attributable to the roughly 2,700 corporations with assets above $2.5 billion. Indeed, these corporations earned 77 percent of total corporate taxable income in 2010 and account for 69 percent of all corporate income taxes paid in the United States. Meanwhile, mid-size companies with assets between $500 million and $2.5 billion in assets earned 11 percent of corporate income and paid 14 percent of corporate income taxes.

For more charts like the one below, see the second edition of our chart book, Putting a Face on America's Tax Returns.

Categories: Tax news

IRS is America's feared and failing agency - Boston Globe

Google IRS Federal Income Tax - Mon, 2014-02-17 19:01

Boston Globe

IRS is America's feared and failing agency
Boston Globe
... on for months or years. But there is a bigger question about America's least-loved federal agency that barely gets asked: Is the IRS, which collects 90 percent of the nation's revenue, up to the basics of its job? Continue reading below .... “That ...

Categories: Tax news

Detroit bankruptcy bond fight a watershed for municipal market

Yahoo Tax - Mon, 2014-02-17 07:17
The city of Detroit's effort to declare some of its general obligation bonds as unsecured debt will be challenged in bankruptcy court Wednesday in what could be a precedent-setting turn in the largest-ever municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The issue in front of federal bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes is whether a pledge of Detroit tax revenue to pay off the voter-approved bond issues is a binding obligation under Michigan law, as argued by bond insurers in two lawsuits, or merely a promise. The outcome of the dispute could have a far-reaching impact on the $3.7 trillion municipal market, where general obligation bonds made up some 60 percent of the issues sold in the last decade. That could reduce investor interest in not only any future Detroit borrowings but in debt from other Michigan municipalities, forcing them to pay higher interest rates.
Categories: Tax news

IRS updates Pub. 17, "Your Federal Income Tax" - Business Management Daily

Google IRS Federal Income Tax - Sat, 2014-02-15 10:14

Florida Courier

IRS updates Pub. 17, "Your Federal Income Tax"
Business Management Daily
The IRS has produced an updated version of Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, its longstanding basic guide for individual taxpayers. Pub. 17 covers a multitude of tax issues ranging from simple filing status items to more complex tax matters.
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IRS updates Pub. 17, "Your Federal Income Tax" - Business Management Daily

Google IRS Federal Income Tax - Sat, 2014-02-15 10:14

Boston Globe

IRS updates Pub. 17, "Your Federal Income Tax"
Business Management Daily
The IRS has produced an updated version of Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, its longstanding basic guide for individual taxpayers. Pub. 17 covers a multitude of tax issues ranging from simple filing status items to more complex tax matters.
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4 best sites for free online tax prep - MSN Money

Google IRS Federal Income Tax - Fri, 2014-02-14 13:11

MSN Money

4 best sites for free online tax prep
MSN Money
Millions of taxpayers qualify for an IRS program that allows them to file their taxes online using free software from major tax-prep companies. Here are the top four. By MSN Money staff Fri 3:55 ... Taxpayers who earned no more than $58,000 last year ...
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How Much More Redistribution is Needed to Make Every Family "Equal"?

Tax Foundation - Fri, 2014-02-14 07:00

Inequality persists in America despite the federal government redistributing more than $1.5 trillion per year from the top 40 percent of families to the bottom 60 percent. So how much more redistribution would be needed to make every American family equal?

That is the subject of my op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal (found here). Our baseline for finding the answer can be found in two separate studies released in November 2013 by the Congressional Budget Office (here) and the Tax Foundation (here).

Both studies compared the amount of federal taxes we pay of all kinds (income taxes to excise taxes) to the amount of federal spending that we receive of all kinds (from welfare programs to national defense). From that simple family “fiscal accounting” we can then measure how much the federal government is redistributing from some Americans to other Americans.

The CBO study looked at prerecession 2006 data for non-elderly households. Not surprisingly, they found that households in the lowest fifth, or quintile, received more back from government than they paid in taxes—in fact, $9.62 for every $1 they paid in taxes. At the other end of the income spectrum it is also not surprising that households in the top quintile received 17 cents in government spending for every $1 they paid in taxes.

It is surprising, however, that CBO found that households in the middle quintile, the so-called middle-class, received $1.19 in federal spending for every $1 they paid in total taxes. What this means is that as a group, the bottom three quintiles—comprising 60 percent of the population—receive more back in government spending than they pay in taxes.

The Tax Foundation study analyzed postrecession 2012 data for all American families (as opposed to the CBO’s households) and determined that federal tax and spending policies redistributed more than $1.5 trillion that year from the top 40 percent of households to the bottom 60 percent. The study also found that state and local governments contributed another $500 billion worth of redistribution from the top to the bottom earners.

Yet, with all of this redistribution inequality persists.

So to figure out how much more redistribution would be needed to make every family equal, we start with the Tax Foundation’s estimate for the average “market income” for the 150 million American families in 2012, $81,600 (market income is a broader measure than AGI and includes some employee benefits, but not transfers).  

To figure out how much additional transfers we need to bring the market income of low-income families up to the national average, we need to add their current income to the net amount of government they are already receiving. For families in the bottom quintile, they have an average market income of $9,560 and receive $21,158 in federal spending. So this means they need an additional $50,882 in transfers to bring them up to the average market income.

At the other end of the income scale, in order to make high-income families “average,” we need to take even more of their income away beyond what government is already redistributing. As I outline in the WSJ piece, “Families in the top fifth have an average market income of $311,400 and pay $65,573 more in taxes than they receive in spending. Thus we need to take an additional $164,227 from them in higher taxes to lower their market incomes to the national average.”

When we reconcile these figures for the millions of families in each quintile, we would need to redistribute an additional $2.4 trillion in income from the top 40 percent of families to the bottom 60 percent in order to give every family an average market income.

This brings the total amount of redistribution to nearly $4 trillion—per year—to close the income gap.

The questions I ask readers who believe that more should be done to narrow the income gap are: “Where on that continuum should we aim, and what policies would achieve these goals without bringing the economy to its knees?”

******

If you are interested in reading more on government redistribution, I encourage you to read Gerald Prante’s White Paper, A Distributional Analysis of Fiscal Policies in the United States, 2000-2012 November 05, 2013   

Also, Tax Foundation economists first began conducting this fiscal accounting in 1967 with a landmark study showing how much households at various income levels received in government spending compared to how much they paid in taxes. We updated that research in 1981, 2007, 2009, and 2013. The most recent studies have also measured the amount of income redistributed from some groups of Americans to others.

We hope this research contributes to an honest debate over tax and spending policies in Washington.

2010

Video: Sally, redistribution, taxes and the deficit
- October 8, 2010

2009

How Much Does President Obama's Budget Redistribute Income? By Gerald Prante, Patrick Fleenor September 21, 2009

Accounting for What Families Pay in Taxes and What They Receive in Government Spending By Scott A. Hodge September 21, 2009

Basic Facts on Redistribution and the Impact of Obama's Policies By Scott A. Hodge September 21, 2009

2007

Generational Equity: Which Age Groups Pay More Tax, and Which Receive More Government Spending? By Gerald Prante, Andrew Chamberlain June 01, 2007

Who Pays America's Tax Burden, and Who Gets the Most Government Spending? By Scott A. Hodge, Gerald Prante, Andrew Chamberlain March 26, 2007

Who Pays Taxes and Who Receives Government Spending? An Analysis of Federal, State and Local Tax and Spending Distributions, 1991-2004 By Gerald Prante, Andrew Chamberlain March 22, 2007

1981

Allocating Tax Burdens and Government Benefits by Income Class, 1972-73 and 1977 By TF Staff February 01, 1981

1967

Allocating Tax Burdens and Government Benefits by Income Class By TF Staff January 01, 1967

Tax Burdens and Benefits of Government Expenditures By Income Class, 1961 and 1965 By TF Staff January 01, 1967

 

 

Categories: Tax news

Map: Spirits Excise Tax Rates by State, 2014

Tax Foundation - Thu, 2014-02-13 12:00

When comparing per gallon taxes on alcohol, spirits taxes are by far the highest (followed by wine and beer). Spirits are taxed the highest in Washington at $35.22 per gallon. Next in line are Oregon ($22.73), Virginia ($19.19), Alabama ($18.23), and Alaska ($12.80). Least-taxed states are Wyoming and New Hampshire, which have no spirits excise taxes (note that these are states in which the government controls all sales, and spirits may be subject to ad valorem mark-up and excise taxes). These are followed by West Virginia ($1.87), Missouri ($2.00), Colorado ($2.28), and Texas ($2.40). To see where your state falls, see the map below.

Since we last released this data (in the 2013 edition of our Facts & Figures booklet), twelve states saw a decrease in spirits taxes (Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming). Only four—Mississippi, Montana, Utah, and Vermont—had an increase in rate.

There isn’t much consistency on how state and local governments tax spirits. This rate can include fixed-rate per volume taxes; wholesale taxes that are usually a percentage of the value of the product; distributor taxes (usually structured as license fees but are usually a percentage of revenues); retail taxes, in which retailers owe an extra percentage of revenues; case or bottle fees (which can vary based on size of container); and additional sales taxes (note that this measure does not include general sales tax, only those in excess of the general rate).

For more info on alcohol taxes, see here. To see how distilled spirits taxation works in each state, check out this handy table from the Federation of Tax Administrators.

Follow Liz and Lyman on Twitter @elizabeth_malm and @notedlemons, respectively.

(Click on the map to enlarge it. View previous maps here.)

(All maps and other graphics may be published and reposted with credit to the Tax Foundation.)

Categories: Tax news

Spirits Excise Tax Rates by State, 2014

Tax Foundation - Thu, 2014-02-13 12:00

When comparing per gallon taxes on alcohol, spirits taxes are by far the highest (followed by wine and beer). Spirits are taxed the highest in Washington at $35.22 per gallon. Next in line are Oregon ($22.73), Virginia ($19.19), Alabama ($18.23), and Alaska ($12.80). Least-taxed states are Wyoming and New Hampshire, which have no spirits excise taxes (note that these are states in which the government controls all sales, and spirits may be subject to ad valorem mark-up and excise taxes). These are followed by West Virginia ($1.87), Missouri ($2.00), Colorado ($2.28), and Texas ($2.40). To see where your state falls, see the map below.

Since we last released this data (in the 2013 edition of our Facts & Figures booklet), twelve states saw a decrease in spirits taxes (Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming). Only four—Mississippi, Montana, Utah, and Vermont—had an increase in rate.

There isn’t much consistency on how state and local governments tax spirits. This rate can include fixed-rate per volume taxes; wholesale taxes that are usually a percentage of the value of the product; distributor taxes (usually structured as license fees but are usually a percentage of revenues); retail taxes, in which retailers owe an extra percentage of revenues; case or bottle fees (which can vary based on size of container); and additional sales taxes (note that this measure does not include general sales tax, only those in excess of the general rate).

For more info on alcohol taxes, see here. To see how distilled spirits taxation works in each state, check out this handy table from the Federation of Tax Administrators.

Follow Liz and Lyman on Twitter @elizabeth_malm and @notedlemons, respectively.

(Click on the map to enlarge it. View previous maps here.)

(All maps and other graphics may be published and reposted with credit to the Tax Foundation.)

Categories: Tax news

HOW TO DO YOUR FEDERAL TAXES FOR FREE - Florida Courier

Google IRS Federal Income Tax - Thu, 2014-02-13 08:51

Florida Courier

HOW TO DO YOUR FEDERAL TAXES FOR FREE
Florida Courier
If your income was more than $58,000, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. Just select the “Free File Fillable Forms” button at www.irs.gov/freefile. This version is best if you are comfortable preparing your ...
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Taxes That Lower Your IRS Bill - Fox Business

Google IRS Federal Income Tax - Thu, 2014-02-13 07:10

Investopedia

Taxes That Lower Your IRS Bill
Fox Business
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. That philosophy works well in tax season, when you can use some tax payments to lower your IRS bill. By itemizing deductions, you can subtract many nonfederal taxes you pay from your federal income. The less income you ...
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Categories: Tax news

Map: Beer Excise Tax Rates by State, 2014

Tax Foundation - Thu, 2014-02-13 07:00

Tax treatment of beer varies widely across the U.S., ranging from a low of $0.02 per gallon in Wyoming to a high of $1.17 per gallon in Tennessee. Check out today’s map below to see where your state lies on the beer tax spectrum.

A few state rates changed since we released last year’s data. Namely, North Carolina’s tax per gallon increased by nine cents, and there were slight increases in Arkansas (+2 cents), Kentucky (+2 cents), and Washington, D.C. (+2 cents). Washington’s tax decreased by 50 cents, and Minnesota’s number was one cent lower than last year. (See the 2013 edition of our Facts & Figures booklet for last year’s numbers.)

There isn’t much consistency on how state and local governments tax beer. This rate can include fixed-rate per volume taxes; wholesale taxes that are usually a percentage of the value of the product; distributor taxes (usually structured as license fees but are usually a percentage of revenues); retail taxes, in which retailers owe an extra percentage of revenues; case or bottle fees (which can vary based on size of container); and additional sales taxes (note that this measure does not include general sales tax, only those in excess of the general rate).

The Beer Institute points out that “taxes are the single most expensive ingredient in beer, costing more than labor and raw materials combined.” They cite an economic analysis that found “if all the taxes levied on the production, distribution, and retailing of beer are added up, they amount to more than 40% of the retail price” (note that this may include general sales tax and federal beer taxes, which are not included in the estimates displayed on the map). Last year, we did a podcast with Lester Jones, Chief Economist at the Beer Institute on tax treatment of beer, which is worth a listen.

For more info on alcohol taxes, see here. For a look at how taxation of beer works in each state, see this handy table from the Federation of Tax Administrators.

Follow Liz and Lyman on Twitter @elizabeth_malm and @notedlemons, respectively.

(Click on the map to enlarge it. View previous maps here.)

(All maps and other graphics may be published and reposted with credit to the Tax Foundation.)

Categories: Tax news

Beer Excise Tax Rates by State, 2014

Tax Foundation - Thu, 2014-02-13 07:00

Tax treatment of beer varies widely across the U.S., ranging from a low of $0.02 per gallon in Wyoming to a high of $1.17 per gallon in Tennessee. Check out today’s map below to see where your state lies on the beer tax spectrum.

A few state rates changed since we released last year’s data. Namely, North Carolina’s tax per gallon increased by nine cents, and there were slight increases in Arkansas (+2 cents), Kentucky (+2 cents), and Washington, D.C. (+2 cents). Washington’s tax decreased by 50 cents, and Minnesota’s number was one cent lower than last year. (See the 2013 edition of our Facts & Figures booklet for last year’s numbers.)

There isn’t much consistency on how state and local governments tax beer. This rate can include fixed-rate per volume taxes; wholesale taxes that are usually a percentage of the value of the product; distributor taxes (usually structured as license fees but are usually a percentage of revenues); retail taxes, in which retailers owe an extra percentage of revenues; case or bottle fees (which can vary based on size of container); and additional sales taxes (note that this measure does not include general sales tax, only those in excess of the general rate).

The Beer Institute points out that “taxes are the single most expensive ingredient in beer, costing more than labor and raw materials combined.” They cite an economic analysis that found “if all the taxes levied on the production, distribution, and retailing of beer are added up, they amount to more than 40% of the retail price” (note that this may include general sales tax and federal beer taxes, which are not included in the estimates displayed on the map). Last year, we did a podcast with Lester Jones, Chief Economist at the Beer Institute on tax treatment of beer, which is worth a listen.

For more info on alcohol taxes, see here. For a look at how taxation of beer works in each state, see this handy table from the Federation of Tax Administrators.

Follow Liz and Lyman on Twitter @elizabeth_malm and @notedlemons, respectively.

(Click on the map to enlarge it. View previous maps here.)

(All maps and other graphics may be published and reposted with credit to the Tax Foundation.)

Categories: Tax news

10 Tax Traps and Snares to Avoid in 2014 - Fox Business

Google IRS Federal Income Tax - Thu, 2014-02-13 02:46

Mother Nature Network

10 Tax Traps and Snares to Avoid in 2014
Fox Business
Get ready to wait early in the year. The federal government shut down for 16 days last October, but taxpayers are still paying for it. The IRS says Jan. 31, 2014, is the earliest it will be ready to process individual tax returns. You can go ahead and ...
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